Search the Site

Happy Birthday, Charlie Darwin

Today, as you’ve probably heard, is the 200th anniversary of both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. Lincoln always gets lots of ink, so it’s especially nice to see all the attention being paid to Darwin; this piece is particularly good.
Is Darwin less respected than he ought to be in certain quarters because his science overturned the religious belief in divine creation? Perhaps. It is worth remembering that Darwin himself believed in creation before he took his famous five-year voyage on the Beagle; but he was ultimately won over by the data.
The friction between evolution and creation will likely live on at least another 200 years but, in the interim, let me offer the following song. It was composed this morning by my friend Jonathan Rosen, a very good writer whose most recent book, The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature, is just out in paperback. It is meant to be sung to the tune of “Happy Birthday.”


Jonathan wrote it so that his daughter Ariella could take it to school and maybe sing it in class if the opportunity arose. She goes to a Jewish day school. I think it does a pretty good job of satisfying any Darwin admirers, whichever side of the evolution/creation aisle they sit:
Happy Birthday Charlie
You come from the sea
You look like a monkey
And so do we.
Happy Birthday Charlie
We come from the sea
But what’s really odd:
We were also made by God.